For four and a half years, my project to build clay brick energy efficient houses has been totally blocked by land guards and illegal building activity on my property at Ashongman by land guards led by criminal minded persons who want to take my land by force.

I have full land title certificates for all of the property, which has been confirmed by the High Court. However a conspiracy to defraud many genuine land owners of their land by a fake land auction (suit AL14/2006) has resulted in serious problems for my clay brick factory in Adidome, Volta Region, as we are unable to send bricks to the site due to these illegal activities.

We have taken a number of people to court but they do not obey the court’s instructions causing a deliberate delay, during which they continue building, night and day.

They ignore the police and ignore Ga East Municipal Assembly’s efforts to stop them working, as they have no building permit and no title. They do not respect the laws of Ghana at all. They constantly harass my caretaker and his family and threaten myself and my staff when we go to the site. I have previously been assaulted by land guards, who stole my wristwatch and mobile phone.

Your government is trying to attract investors to Ghana but then criminal-minded people want to steal our hard-earned investment and the authorities can do nothing. Are these land guards above the law?

Investors are told that when we hold the land title it is indefeasible in law (ie: it cannot be challenged) and therefore our land tenure is safe. Clearly this is not so, as criminal minded people are building on my land today. What is the use therefore of a land title certificate in Ghana?

I wanted my brick and tile factory in Adidome, Volta Region to be part of the government’s one-factory, one district programme but instead I have had to curtail investment in the factory and lay off employees because of the illegal activities on my land in Ashongman, Accra.

I do not want to close down my brick and tile factory in Adidome, Volta Region but the criminal activities of these land guards in Accra may leave me with no choice, if I cannot quickly demolish the illegal buildings on my land to stop their criminal activities continuing.

Mr President, I beg you to take action on the land guards in Ashongman and send your task force to cut out this cancer, which is destroying all your efforts for development in Ghana.

Yours faithfully,

Graham Smith, UK Investor
Adidome Ceramics Company Limited
PO Box 3216 Osu-Accra, Ghana


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